Legal Sea Foods President and CEO Roger Berkowitz reveals how his restaurants stay on the cutting edge
If there is one restaurant that embodies the history of Boston seafood, it is Legal Sea Foods, and if there is a face of Legal Sea Foods, it is Roger Berkowitz, president and CEO. Berkowitz recalls the days in the 1950s and ’60s when Legal Sea Foods was his father’s fish market in Cambridge, and he worked behind the counter. Memories of that time include providing seafood to famous Cambridge resident and renowned chef Julia Child, who once requested a whole monkfish—still not a fish most Americans would know how to cook—that she prepared during one of her TV programs.
Berkowitz is proud of Legal Sea Foods’ Boston heritage. “In terms of sourcing product, if you are a seafood lover, Boston is home to the oldest fish pier in the country. You can get the best in the world, right here. We provide that quintessential Boston experience. Our DNA has always been fresh fish.” When it comes to handling seafood, Berkowitz explains that his company is also on the cutting edge. “We scientifically test each shellfish in a lab for purity. No one else does that.”
What’s on the menu? This can vary depending on the daily catch, yet Berkowitz has an answer ready for his go-to favorite dish. “That would have to be raw shellfish, honestly. But, I also really like grey sole. Deep-fried or sautéed, it’s spectacular—a definitive New England fish.”
Legal Sea Foods has locations all along the East Coast, but if you want to dine right here in the Hub, there are multiple locations across greater Boston. Notably, Legal Harborside offers three floors of waterfront dining in the Seaport District, and each floor has its own ambiance, from the classic and casual first floor to the third-floor rooftop lounge and promenade deck. Going to see a play downtown? Legal Crossing serves an excellent pre-show meal in a sleek, modern location just across Washington Street from the Boston Opera House and the Paramount. Yet no matter which location you visit in Boston, you will dine on some of the freshest, most exciting fish arriving at the pier.